Quarterly population update: a surge in the South
Yesterday the ABS released population estimates for the December 2018 quarter. The figures tell us that Australia continues to grow steadily, with Victoria remaining the fastest growing state in the country. But the big story is Tasmania, as that state records growth at levels not seen in nearly 30 years.
Australia’s population at December 31, 2018 stood at 25,180,200, an increase of 404,800 in the calendar year, and 188,000 in 6 months. (the December quarter always has a slower rate of growth than the rest of the year).
- This is a 1.6% annual increase for 2018 – this has been very consistent between about 1.5% and 1.7% for the past 5 years.
- The “25 millionth Australian” was celebrated in the media based on projections, on 8th August 2018. The final data shows that the population on June 30th was 24,992,700 – and based on the growth over the next quarter, the 25 millionth Australian probably arrived around the 7th of July, more than a month earlier.
The state-level statistics also show an interesting story (sourced from this table on the ABS website)
|DECEMBER 2018 ESTIMATED RESIDENT POPULATION|
|Population 31 Dec 2018||Change over previous year||Annual change %|
|New South Wales||8,046,070||123,813||1.56%|
|Australian Capital Territory||423,811||7,574||1.82%|
Source: ABS Australian Demographic Statistics (3101.0).
The population story at a state level
- Victoria continues to be the fastest growing state, adding 2.2% in the last year (139,400 people). Victoria has now been the fastest growing state 5 years in a row.
- Queensland is growing again, adding almost 90,000 people in a year, 1.8% – the second-fastest growth in the nation, and the state’s population has just exceeded 5 million.
- Western Australia’s growth is still modest, at 0.8% p.a. as it has been since the end of the mining construction boom in 2014 – but just starting to tick up again, at almost 24,000 in the past year.
- The Northern Territory’s decline is accelerating, losing 0.4%, about 1,000 people in the last year, with the December quarter showing even more decline.
The growth of Tasmania
A big story is the growth of Tasmania. The island state added 6,500 people in a year – this may not seem like much but in the context of population size, it equates to a rate of 1.2%. This is the fastest growth in Tasmania in almost 30 years, due mainly to interstate migrants – and the state is now growing faster than SA and WA. It’s also the only state with a Department of State Growth – coincidence?
How population updates are made to our public profiles
This update from the ABS is an interim quarterly update, where the population figures are made available for states. The annual update for local government and smaller area population estimates (which are included in .id’s community profiles and other online tools) are done for the June quarter only, and normally come out in March each year.